Performance vs Fulfilment

Are you a performance driven or a fulfillment driven individual? Do you compete or do you live? Do you struggle each day or do you enjoy every second?

Whenever I ask those questions I’m getting the most intriguing answers. But each and every answer reinforce the fact that people are extremely motivated by performance. Fulfillment seems to be seen rather like a consequence of a performance based attitude, than as a path to be followed on its own. In today’s post I’d like to sketch a few directions about how performance and fulfillment approaches are shaping our lives.

So, how do you define performance in your life? What’s fulfillment in your life?

External versus Internal

For me, performance is external. Is something that I have to be congruent with, something that I have to align with, something outside myself. In order to perform, I have to shift, to remodel, to rewire, to rearrange myself, according to an external model. Even if I try to create my own model it will still be based on outside perceptions. Performance is happening on the outside.

Fulfillment is internal. Is something in which I can genuinely dive without any outside support. Is something that emerges, that grows from within. In order to be fulfilled I only have to embrace, to accept, to dissolve into a sea of inner resources. I don’t need an external model for my fulfillment, everything I need is already there. Fulfillment is happening on the inside.

Rules versus Freedom

Performance means usually to respect a set of rules and be really good at that. Every performance needs to be measured and for that it needs rules. Rules are bounding, limiting and restraining. Performance comes from total obeisance of the rules and from acting in a finite territory.

Fulfillment doesn’t need any rule to happen, is just there. Fulfillment doesn’t really have a measurement system, it either is or it isn’t. Fulfillment happens in freedom, is endless in its nature and unmeasurable. Fulfillment comes from total flexibility and from acting without any restraints.

Proof versus Knowing

Every performance is meant to prove something. Most of the time it proves a higher capacity of the performer, it proves the fact that more can be achieved. Without any proof there wouldn’t be any performance.

Fulfillment doesn’t need to prove anything, it’s just there. Fulfillment is feeding your sense of completeness and integration. It nourishes your deepest connections to yourself. It doesn’t need more of anything, because it is already complete.

Consuming versus Creating

Every performance is consuming something. It’s consuming your resources, your time, your skills. In order to achieve a certain performance you have to spend something. Every performance is expensive.

Fulfillment doesn’t need anything. Even more, fulfillment is always creating something out of your current state. Fulfillment is never expensive, on the contrary, it always gives you something instead of taking something from you.

Finding Balance

Being only performance based or only fulfillment based is not a choice for me. I rather go with a balance between performance and fulfillment. Changing from one attitude to another as I grow.

Shifting my status using performance based approaches is leading to fulfillment sooner or later. After a certain period of adjustment to external stimulus and rules – in which I am totally performance driven – I find myself joy in an inner fulfilling abandonment.

After respecting the rules of climbing I can rest into a peaceful stillness on the mountain I just conquered.

After consuming experiences I can create things based on that.

After getting proof of overcoming my own limits, I can enjoy the simple truth that I can always do that.


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12 Comments Add yours

  1. CattleCapers says:

    Very nicely put. Has me thinking. When I was a kid, I created solely for the pleasure of writing, or drawing or directing. I lost that when becoming performance based. This was helpful. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Negative thoughts can amplify with the use of social media, which tends to showcase only the best parts of life. As we deal with our day-to-day struggles it’s easy to fall into the mentality that others’ lives are much more interesting or don’t have that many problems.

      The most important thing about happiness, fulfilment and feeling of accomplishment is that they never come from the outside. They have to be generated from within.

      It’s about staying focused on our life. Looking for what moves us and sparks passion. About creating experiences of all different kinds, because that’s what adds meaning to life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CattleCapers says:

        Very true. Also, I am exposed to more negativity online than in my daily “real” life. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Most welcome. Glad you agree 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. that is a true facts written

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Deeper fulfillment is rather different from the happiness of seeing a good film or watching your team win at football, and it doesn’t come at the push of a button. – Geoff Mulgan


  3. I m simply amazed with your writings. And I have fallen in love with them. And I m being totally honest when I say this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Haha thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you for the reblog

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a joy and pleasure to read and share your posts with followers, My Dear! Hope you have a great day!! xoxox 😘💕🎁🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  4. godtisx says:

    Straddling the line between fulfillment and performance is something I’m always doing, even if naming them differently to myself. Interesting essay.

    Liked by 1 person

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